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Question – India’s zero casualty approach to managing extreme weather events has been a major contributor to the reduction of loss of life and resources from such events. Examine.

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Question – India’s zero casualty approach to managing extreme weather events has been a major contributor to the reduction of loss of life and resources from such events. Examine. – 5 May 

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Due to the monsoon climate and long coastline, India is vulnerable to extreme weather events. The Bay of Bengal on its eastern coast is highly suited for the formation of cyclones. India has adopted a “zero casualty” approach to reduce loss of life and property from these extreme events such as cyclones and consequent storms. Recently, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has praised this approach in dealing with the “Fani” cyclone in Odisha.

India’s zero casualty approach has been successful in managing extreme seasonal events for the following reasons:

  • An effective mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery system that conforms to the guidelines of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • The accuracy of the early warning system of the Indian Meteorological Department, the exact time of formation of a cyclone, its landfall enable the state to be prepared for disaster and reduce the loss of life and property.
  • Disaster-resilient relief structures, such as cyclone shelters and rapid disaster response-forces, have been established for rescue operations and relief. Their effectiveness has been observed during Cyclone Feline (2013), Hudhud (2014), and Phani (2019).
  • Effective coordination between governmental organizations, local community groups and volunteer groups.
  • The effective role of the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project has helped in achieving “zero death” in case of celestial electricity.
  • India has advanced disaster damage reduction capabilities, which was adopted at the UN World Conference in 2015, in accordance with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030)
  • The National Disaster Management Authority, the apex body for disaster management in India, is effectively working towards capacity building measures for better mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery during natural and man-made disasters.

There is a need for a proactive approach among all its stakeholders to build a safe and resilient India in future. Along with the measures initiated by the government, local public participation is also necessary. Effective and appropriate awareness programs are needed for this. Also, modern technology like GIS, AI and advanced weather forecasting system should be included in the proper management of extreme weather events.

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